The Oilers bottom 6–really the veterans–were the problem this past season. Among forwards, who among the 3 and 4 lines delivered enough offensively to be considered a winner based on expectations?
- Ryan Smyth 47, 2-11-13 (.277 point per game) RE 40, 9-13-22 (.550 point per game) -13
- Shawn Horcoff 31, 7-5-12 (.387 point per game) RE 44, 6-10-16 (.364 point per game) +1
- Lennart Petrell 35, 3-6-9 (.257 point per game) RE 31, 2-3-5 (.161 point per game) +3
- Ryan Jones 27, 2-5-7 (.259 point per game) RE 41, 7-5-12 (.293 point per game) -1
- Eric Belanger 26, 0-3-3 (.115 point per game) RE 45, 6-6-12 (.267 point per game) -4
- Teemu Hartikainen 23, 1-2-3 (.130 point per game) RE 29, 5-5-10 (.345 point per game) -5
- Ben Eager 14, 1-1-2 (.143 point per game) RE 29, 3-2-5 (.172 point per game) even
- Darcy Hordichuk 4, 0-0-0 (nil) RE 26, 0-1-1 (.038 point per game) even
History teaches us that plunges is performance are due to: age catching up; injury; change of role. I think Ryan Smyth’s role did change, but the offense was disappointing. I do think we should expect some recovery offensively from him next season. Horcoff is about right, Petrell maybe a little better than alright, Jones had that eye injury and considering that and his output I don’t think we can get too mad about the offensive output.
Belanger has been a disaster, Hartikainen did not step forward offensively, and we saw that much of that appears to be bad luck (no points for while he was on the ice at evens this season, despite a CorsiRel that was close to even).
Now, before we see how the RE series predicted this group, let’s once again review the top 6 forwards and the RE prediction
TOP 6 FORWARDS RE
- Actual: 85-131-216
- RE: 81-128-209
BOTTOM 6 FORWARDS RE
- Actual: 16-33-49
- RE: 38-43-81
Incredible. The top 6 outscored the prediction by 4 goals, but the bottom 6 were 22 goals shy of what I posted as reasonable. This won’t come as any kind of news, but Craig MacTavish could be justified in flushing all 8 forwards above and starting all over again.
I’ll look at the defense starting Saturday.